Presentation Photo Album Showing the Facilities of Hiram Walker & Sons Whisky Distillery in Peoria, Illinois
Very good. Flexible leather binder containing 29 black and white, 8" x 10" photographs inserted back-to-back in clear sleeves. Stamped in gilt on the cover with the name of the owner/recipient, James Stubbers, as well as the Hiram Walker name and logo. Each photo has a typed caption. Fine condition. Hiram Walker & Sons was founded in Windsor, Ontario, by American entrepreneur Hiram Walker, who focused on creating, branding, and marketing an uncommonly smooth and palatable whisky. His signature product, Hiram Walker's Club Whisky, proved extremely popular in both Canada and the United States, and by 1882 the company was offering 27 varieties of whisky. In 1889, after the U.S. Congress passed legislation requiring the country of origin to be shown on all labels, the brand was re-named Canadian Club. Today Hiram Walker is "one of the three largest distilleries in the world, exporting products to over 150 countries. Through growth and expansion, the company now consists of three Canadian distilleries and four American marketing subsidiaries, as well as a bottling facility, a glass company, and a distillery. It owns 11 Scottish distilling plants and has holdings in France, Mexico, Argentina, and Spain" (Source: referenceforbusiness website). This album, which dates from about 1950, offers an informative visual tour of the company's operations in Peoria, Illinois (described in a caption as the "World's largest and most modern beverage distillery") and emphasizes their focus on quality. The photographs show the on-site grain elevator, inspection of corn prior to acceptance, milling machines, pressure cookers ("retain desired volatile flavors of the grain"), yeast selection process, fermentation tanks, stills ("different stills are used in producing 13 base whiskies"), oak barrel assembly and charring process, blending tanks, filtration pads, percolator for creating flavoring extracts, research laboratories, and more. Several images show a group of sales executives who seem to be taking a tour, and in one they are doing taste tests on Canadian Club, as well as Hiram Walker vodka, gin, peppermint schnaaps, and creme de cacao. The recipient of this album, James Charles Stubbers (1929-2004) worked as a Hiram Walker sales executive before joining his father in Kennedy-Stubbers Distributing, a Missouri-based liquor wholesaler that maintained close ties to Hiram Walker & Sons. Stubbers may be one of the executives shown in the album, but we have not located a photograph of him for comparison.